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Museum of the Bible quietly replaces questioned artifact


The Museum of the Bible in Washington quietly changed an artifact presupposed to be one in all a handful of miniature Bibles {that a} NASA astronaut carried to the moon in 1971 after an skilled questioned its authenticity.

The transfer follows an announcement final 12 months that not less than 5 of 16 Useless Sea Scroll fragments that had been on show on the museum had been discovered to be obvious fakes.

The museum changed the unique microfilm Bible with one which was donated by an Oklahoma lady who wrote a e book in regards to the Apollo Prayer League, which organized for Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell to hold tiny Bibles to the moon.

“We all know for positive that one on show proper now went to the moon, however we couldn’t confirm for positive that the one we had initially on show had gone to the moon,” museum spokeswoman Heather Cirmo stated. “We could not disprove it, it simply wasn’t sure.”

The $500 million museum was largely funded by the Inexperienced household, evangelical Christian billionaires who run the Oklahoma Metropolis-based Interest Foyer chain of craft shops. The purported “lunar” Bible is simply the most recent merchandise bought by the household to return beneath scrutiny.

Steve Inexperienced, museum founder and president of Interest Foyer, additionally bought 1000’s of Iraqi archaeological artifacts for a reported $1.6 million, however was pressured in 2018 to return them to the Iraqi authorities and Interest Foyer paid a $three million tremendous after authorities stated they had been stolen from the war-torn nation and smuggled into the U.S. Museum officers have stated none of these objects had been ever a part of its assortment.

As for the Useless Sea Scrolls that had been known as into query, the 11 remaining fragments are being examined, with outcomes anticipated by the top of the 12 months, Cirmo stated. Two of the fragments stay on show with indicators noting that they’re being examined.

The museum didn’t announce that it was changing the lunar Bible — a choice Cirmo defended.

“It is fairly ridiculous to suppose that any museum, that each time you turn one thing out you are going to announce it on plaques,” Cirmo stated. “Collectors make errors on a regular basis. … This isn’t one thing that’s distinctive to Steve Inexperienced.”

The merchandise that was beforehand displayed is now in storage, Cirmo stated.

Tulsa creator Carol Mersch, who had raised considerations about its authenticity, donated the substitute Bible.

“(Inexperienced) is grateful, as is the museum, that somebody got here ahead and donated one that really went to the moon … and that one did not value something,” Cirmo stated.

Mersch was given 10 lunar Bibles by then-NASA chaplain the Rev. John Stout, a co-founder of the Apollo Prayer League.

Inexperienced, chairman of the museum’s board, purchased the unique Bible for about $56,000. It had additionally been displayed on the Vatican.

Mersch questioned its authenticity as a result of it had a serial quantity that was solely three digits; she stated Stout engraved the genuine lunar Bibles with five-digit numbers. Mersch stated the Bible she offered was authenticated by each Stout and Mitchell.

“I believed (donation) the very best factor I may do to honor Rev. Stout. He had requested me to donate them to museums,” Mersch stated.

Inexperienced purchased the merchandise that was initially on show from Georgia-based Peachstate Historic Consulting, which acquired the Bibles from Stout’s brother, James Stout. The Stout brothers are each lifeless, as is Mitchell. Peachstate proprietor David Frohman didn’t reply to requests for remark.

In an interview with The Related Press a month earlier than the museum’s 2017 opening, Inexperienced acknowledged the museum had made some errors early on.

“There’s numerous complexities in areas that I am nonetheless a novice at,” he stated. “However we’re partaking the very best specialists we will to advise and assist us in that course of.”


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Musk unveils SpaceX rocket designed to get to Mars and again


Elon Musk has unveiled a SpaceX spacecraft designed to hold a crew and cargo to the moon, Mars or anyplace else within the photo voltaic system and land again on Earth perpendicularly.

In a livestreamed speech from SpaceX’s launch facility close to the southern tip of Texas, Musk mentioned Saturday that the area enterprise’s Starship is predicted to take off for the primary time in about one or two months and attain 65,000 toes (19,800 meters) earlier than touchdown again on Earth.

He says it is important for the viability of area journey to have the ability to reuse spacecraft and that it is vital to take steps to increase consciousness past our planet.

A crowd watched as Musk spoke from a stage in entrance of the massive spacecraft, which has a reflective, steel exterior.

Musk says Saturday marked the 11th anniversary of a SpaceX rocket reaching orbit for the primary time.


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Hawaii telescope backers search allow for different website


The director of a Spanish analysis heart mentioned Monday that the worldwide consortium that wishes to construct an enormous telescope on Hawaii’s tallest peak regardless of protests from Native Hawaiians has determined to hunt a constructing allow for an alternate website within the Canary Islands.

Canary Islands Astrophysics Institute Director Rafael Rebolo instructed The Related Press that he acquired a letter from the top of the Thirty Meter Telescope venture saying its board not too long ago determined “to proceed with the request to hunt a constructing allow” for the island of La Palma.

Nonetheless, Rebolo insisted the consortium that already obtained a allow in Hawaii nonetheless plans to place the $1.four billion telescope on the highest of Mauna Kea.

Some Native Hawaiians consider the Huge Island mountain is sacred, and protesters are of their fourth week of blocking entry to Mauna Kea’s summit to forestall development.

“We’re observing what is occurring in Hawaii with the utmost respect,” Rebolo, the purpose man for the choice website in Spain’s Canary Islands, mentioned.

“Our place is that we’re right here if the TMT venture wants us,” he mentioned in a phone interview from the institute’s headquarters on the island of Tenerife.

Scientists chosen Mauna Kea’s summit for the large telescope as a result of the climate and air circumstances there are among the many greatest on the earth for viewing the skies.

The Hawaii Supreme Court docket final yr dominated the worldwide consortium behind the telescope lawfully obtained a allow to construct the telescope, clearing the best way for the development to proceed.

Individually, the state Division of Land and Pure Assets granted a two-year extension to the deadline for beginning development. The brand new deadline is Sept. 26, 2021.

Given the opposition, the worldwide consortium in October 2016 introduced a backup location within the Canary Islands — Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma.

Rebolo mentioned native officers who would have jurisdiction over a La Palma constructing allow for the brand new telescope solidly again the venture and that the observatory website has already handed environmental influence evaluations.

“Our mountains should not sacred,” he added.

A Native Hawaiian protest chief referred to as the event relating to the constructing allow a great signal.

“There’s numerous good science to be executed from the Canary Islands,” mentioned Kealoha Pisciotta, who has helped arrange the blockade on Mauna Kea. It might “be a win for everybody.”

However the information will not immediate protesters to cease demonstration, she mentioned.

Kaho’okahi Kanuha, one other protest chief who has been arrested a number of occasions making an attempt to dam telescope development on Mauna Kea, mentioned he hopes telescope builders make the “proper choice” and transfer the venture to the Canary Islands.

“We stay dedicated to defending Mauna Kea from additional desecration, regardless of how lengthy it takes,” he mentioned.

Huge Island Mayor Harry Kim, whom Hawaii’s governor tasked with discovering widespread floor amongst Native Hawaiian leaders, protesters and telescope stakeholders, mentioned it will be a loss for his island and the state if the telescope was in-built Spain as an alternative.

“I believed this might be a great factor for Hawaii if executed the appropriate approach,” Kim mentioned.

However the mayor additionally acknowledged that injustices towards the Native Hawaiian neighborhood must be addressed. “A part of the appropriate approach is a recognition of wrongs of previous.”

The mayor mentioned his accountability is to discover a higher approach ahead that addresses the various difficult points concerned with the battle over the telescope, together with the economics for the Huge Island.

“If this chance is misplaced, and I do imply it, there can be a unhappiness on my half,” Kim mentioned. “Not solely due to science and training and alternative, a part of my accountability is to attempt to discover methods to make a greater financial base for this island.”

He mentioned he would not need his county’s total financial system to be based mostly on tourism like it’s on the opposite islands in Hawaii.

On “Maui, Kauai, and Oahu, the huge, overwhelming majority of these individuals on these islands and counties can now not personal a house due to what has occurred economically,” he mentioned.

The telescope “was one of many methods — in addition to agriculture, beside the place we develop resorts and the way we develop resorts — of my long-range viewpoint of what can be higher for this island.”

Thirty Meter Telescope government director Ed Stone mentioned in a press release Monday that the group nonetheless prefers Hawaii’s Mauna Kea.

“We proceed to observe the method to permit for TMT to be constructed on the ‘plan B’ website in La Palma ought to it not be doable to construct in Hawaii. This course of has been ongoing since 2016,” Stone mentioned.

The College of Hawaii, which leases the land that the telescope plans to construct on, launched an identical assertion saying the most recent motion is just a continuation of steps which have been underway for a number of years.

However officers deliberate to start development in Hawaii greater than three weeks in the past, and Native Hawaiian activists say they will not budge till the telescope goes elsewhere.

A spokeswoman with Gov. David Ige’s workplace was not instantly ready to answer a request for remark.

Final week, Spain’s science minister, Pedro Duque, reiterated the federal government’s full assist for the Canary Islands as a Plan B website for the telescope and mentioned the nation is well-prepared to host it.

“Now we have all the mandatory plans in any respect ranges — the individuals, the pace, the techniques, completely every thing is prepared in the event that they need to come,” Duque mentioned.

The Canary Islands archipelago, situated west of Morocco within the japanese Atlantic Ocean, is already residence to a number of highly effective telescopes. The Roque de los Muchachos Observatory hosts greater than 20.

The location in Hawaii, which is taken into account the most effective place for astronomy within the Northern Hemisphere, can be already residence to greater than a dozen telescopes.


Jones reported from Honolulu. Related Press author Jennifer Sinco Kelleher in Honolulu contributed to this report.


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India launches moon mission a week after it was aborted


India successfully launched an unmanned spacecraft to the far side of the moon on Monday, a week after aborting the mission due to a technical problem.

Scientists at the mission control center burst into applause as the rocket lifted off in clear weather as scheduled at 2:43 p.m. K. Sivan, head of the Indian Space Research Organization, or ISRO, said the rocket successfully injected the spacecraft into orbit.

The spacecraft — named Chandrayaan, the Sanskrit word for “moon craft” — is scheduled to land on the lunar south pole in September and send a rover to explore water deposits that were confirmed by a previous mission that orbited the moon.

India’s first moon mission orbited the moon in 2008 and helped confirm the presence of water. The country plans to send its first manned spaceflight by 2022.

The launch a week ago was called off less than an hour before liftoff due to a “technical snag.” Media reports said the launch was aborted after ISRO scientists identified a leak while filling helium in the rocket’s cryogenic engine. The space agency neither confirmed nor denied the reports, saying instead that the problem had been identified and corrected.

The spacecraft is carrying an orbiter, a lander and a rover that will move around on the lunar surface for 14 earth days. It will take around 47 days to travel before landing on the moon in September.

India put a satellite into orbit around Mars in the nation’s first interplanetary mission in 2013 and 2014.


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TV is over the moon with specials recounting 1969 landing


The 1969 moon landing turned an achievement seen only in the imagination and sci-fi movies into a most improbable television event, a live broadcast starring Neil Armstrong and a desolate landscape.

The astounding images from more than 200,000 miles away mesmerized viewers, a feat TV hopes to replicate leading up to the Apollo 11 mission’s 50th anniversary on July 20.

There’s a galaxy of programs about the science, the people and the sheer wonder of the voyage, including documentaries with footage and audio not made public before and, of course, modern special effects to make it all the more vivid.

Among the highlights (all times EDT):

— “Apollo: Missions to the Moon,” National Geographic, 9 p.m. Sunday. The two-hour film by Tom Jennings uses a mix of TV and radio news accounts, home movies, NASA footage and previously unaired mission control audio recordings to revisit all of the dozen manned Apollo missions.

— “The Day We Walked on the Moon,” 9 p.m. Sunday, Smithsonian Channel. A by-the-minute description of the day of the moon mission by those who were part of it, including astronaut Michael Collins, and those who viewed it from afar, such as Queen guitarist and scientist Brian May.

— “American Experience: Chasing the Moon,” PBS and pbs.org, 9 p.m. July 8-10 (check local listings). Robert Stone’s six-hour documentary, narration-free and using only archival footage, tracks the space race from its start to the lunar landing and beyond, examining the scientific innovation, politics, personal drama and media spectacle that propelled it.

— “From the Earth to the Moon,” HBO platforms starting July 15. The 1998 miniseries is back with its original visual effects replaced by computer-generated ones based, according to HBO, on NASA reference models. The cast includes Sally Field, Gary Cole and Tom Hanks, who also produced the drama available on HBO Go, HBO Now and HBO On Demand. A HBO channel marathon airing of all 12 episodes begins at 8:45 a.m. July 20.

— “8 Days: To the Moon and Back,” PBS, 9 p.m. July 17 (check local listings). Co-produced by PBS and BBC Studios, the new film tracks the mission from countdown to splashdown with a combination of recently declassified audio, interviews with the Apollo 11 crew, mission re-enactments, archival TV news footage and photographs.

— “NASA’s Giant Leaps: Past and Future,” NASA TV and Discovery Science Channel, 1 p.m. July 19. A salute to the Apollo astronauts and to the space agency’s future missions, broadcast from the Kennedy Space Center and with segments from the Johnson Space Center in Houston and the Museum of Flight in Seattle, where the Apollo 11 command module is on display.

— “Apollo: The Forgotten Films,” Discovery, 8 p.m. July 20. Footage from NASA, the National Archives, news reports and other sources provides a behind-the-scenes look at how engineers, scientists and astronauts achieved the moon landing goal set earlier in the decade by President John F. Kennedy.

— “The National Symphony Orchestra Pops presents Apollo 11: A Fiftieth Anniversary,” PBS, 9 p.m. July 20. NASA, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the symphony collaborated for this musical and visual tribute to the moon landing, with appearances by Pharrell Williams, Natasha Bedingfield and LeVar Burton. Meredith Vieira and Adam Savage host.

— “Apollo 11,” CNN, 9 p.m. July 20. The documentary film from director-producer Todd Douglas Miller recounts the mission from the Saturn V rocket’s transport to its launch pad to the astronauts’ return to Earth, using newly discovered 70mm footage, extensive audio recordings and other digitized and restored material from the National Archives and NASA.

— “Moon Landing Live,” BBC America, 9 p.m. July 20. News archives from around the world and NASA footage are used to recount the mission’s ambition and achievement and how it captured international attention.

— “Confessions from Space: Apollo,” Discovery, 10 p.m. July 20. The program with the tabloid-sounding title gathers six astronauts who took part in Apollo program missions to jointly share their memories and insights. Among them are Apollo 11’s Collins and Buzz Aldrin and Charles Duke of Apollo 16.


Lynn Elber can be reached at lelber@ap.org and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber .


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Be wary of robot emotions; ‘simulated love is never love’


When a robot “dies,” does it make you sad? For lots of people, the answer is “yes” — and that tells us something important, and potentially worrisome, about our emotional responses to the social machines that are starting to move into our lives.

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For Christal White, a 42-year-old marketing and customer service director in Bedford, Texas, that moment came several months ago with the cute, friendly Jibo robot perched in her home office. After more than two years in her house, the foot-tall humanoid and its inviting, round screen “face” had started to grate on her. Sure, it danced and played fun word games with her kids, but it also sometimes interrupted her during conference calls.

White and her husband Peter had already started talking about moving Jibo into the empty guest bedroom upstairs. Then they heard about the “death sentence” Jibo’s maker had levied on the product as its business collapsed. News arrived via Jibo itself, which said its servers would be shutting down, effectively lobotomizing it.

“My heart broke,” she said. “It was like an annoying dog that you don’t really like because it’s your husband’s dog. But then you realize you actually loved it all along.”

The Whites are far from the first to experience this feeling. People took to social media this year to say teary goodbyes to the Mars Opportunity rover when NASA lost contact with the 15-year-old robot. A few years ago, scads of concerned commenters weighed in on a demonstration video from robotics company Boston Dynamics in which employees kicked a dog-like robot to prove its stability.

Smart robots like Jibo obviously aren’t alive, but that doesn’t stop us from acting as though they are. Research has shown that people have a tendency to project human traits onto robots, especially when they move or act in even vaguely human-like ways.

Designers acknowledge that such traits can be powerful tools for both connection and manipulation. That could be an especially acute issue as robots move into our homes — particularly if, like so many other home devices, they also turn into conduits for data collected on their owners.

“When we interact with another human, dog, or machine, how we treat it is influenced by what kind of mind we think it has,” said Jonathan Gratch, a professor at University of Southern California who studies virtual human interactions. “When you feel something has emotion, it now merits protection from harm.”

The way robots are designed can influence the tendency people have to project narratives and feelings onto mechanical objects, said Julie Carpenter, a researcher who studies people’s interaction with new technologies. Especially if a robot has something resembling a face, its body resembles those of humans or animals, or just seems self-directed, like a Roomba robot vacuum.

“Even if you know a robot has very little autonomy, when something moves in your space and it seems to have a sense of purpose, we associate that with something having an inner awareness or goals,” she said.

Such design decisions are also practical, she said. Our homes are built for humans and pets, so robots that look and move like humans or pets will fit in more easily.

Some researchers, however, worry that designers are underestimating the dangers associated with attachment to increasingly life-like robots.

Longtime AI researcher and MIT professor Sherry Turkle, for instance, is concerned that design cues can trick us into thinking some robots are expressing emotion back toward us. Some AI systems already present as socially and emotionally aware, but those reactions are often scripted, making the machine seem “smarter” than it actually is.

“The performance of empathy is not empathy,” she said. “Simulated thinking might be thinking, but simulated feeling is never feeling. Simulated love is never love.”

Designers at robotic startups insist that humanizing elements are critical as robot use expands. “There is a need to appease the public, to show that you are not disruptive to the public culture,” said Gadi Amit, president of NewDealDesign in San Francisco.

His agency recently worked on designing a new delivery robot for Postmates — a four-wheeled, bucket-shaped object with a cute, if abstract, face; rounded edges; and lights that indicate which way it’s going to turn.

It’ll take time for humans and robots to establish a common language as they move throughout the world together, Amit said. But he expects it to happen in the next few decades.

But what about robots that work with kids? In 2016, Dallas-based startup RoboKind introduced a robot called Milo designed specifically to help teach social behaviors to kids who have autism. The mechanism, which resembles a young boy, is now in about 400 schools and has worked with thousands of kids.

It’s meant to connect emotionally with kids at a certain level, but RoboKind co-founder Richard Margolin says the company is sensitive to the concern that kids could get too attached to the robot, which features human-like speech and facial expressions.

So RoboKind suggests limits in its curriculum, both to keep Milo interesting and to make sure kids are able to transfer those skills to real life. Kids are only recommended to meet with Milo three to five times a week for 30 minutes each time.


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Japan space probe drops explosive on asteroid to make crater


Japan’s space agency said its Hayabusa2 spacecraft successfully dropped an explosive designed to make a crater on an asteroid and collect its underground samples to find possible clues to the origin of the solar system.

Friday’s crater mission is the riskiest for Hayabusa2, as it had to immediately get away so it won’t get hit by flying shards from the blast.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, said that Hayabusa2 dropped a “small carry-on impactor” made of copper onto the asteroid Friday morning, and that data confirmed the spacecraft safely evacuated and remained intact. JAXA is analyzing data to examine if or how the impactor made a crater.

The copper explosive is the size of a baseball weighing 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds). It was designed to come out of a cone-shaped piece of equipment. A copper plate on its bottom was to turn into a ball during its descent and slam into the asteroid at 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) per second.

JAXA plans to send Hayabusa2 back to the site later, when the dust and debris settle, for observations from above and to collect samples from underground that have not been exposed to the sun or space rays. Scientists hope the samples will be crucial to determine the history of the asteroid and our planet.

If successful, it would be the first time for a spacecraft to take such materials. In a 2005 “deep impact” mission to a comet, NASA observed fragments after blasting the surface but did not collect them.

After dropping the impactor, the spacecraft was to move quickly to the other side of the asteroid to avoid flying shards from the blast. While moving away, Hayabusa2 also left a camera to capture the outcome. One of its first photos showed the impactor being successfully released and headed to the asteroid.

“So far, Hayabusa2 has done everything as planned, and we are delighted,” said mission leader Makoto Yoshikawa. “But we still have more missions to achieve and it’s too early for us to celebrate with ‘banzai.'”

Hayabusa2 successfully touched down on a tiny flat surface on the boulder-rich asteroid in February, when the spacecraft also collected some surface dust and small debris. The craft is scheduled to leave the asteroid at the end of 2019 and bring surface fragments and underground samples back to Earth in late 2020.

The asteroid, named Ryugu after an undersea palace in a Japanese folktale, is about 300 million kilometers (180 million miles) from Earth.


Follow Mari Yamaguchi at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi


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THE SAGAN SERIES – The Frontier Is Everywhere

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY59wZdCDo0&w=580&h=385]

For more Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/thesaganseries Twitter – http://twitter.com/reidgower G+ – http://bit.ly/VpHzQh The Sagan Series is an educational project working in the hopes…